‘Elites’ hunting ‘deplorables’!? Hollywood studio yanks gory movie ads after mass shootings
A violent thriller in which blue-state elites hunt red-state “deplorables” for sport has been forced to pull some of its ads in the wake of US mass shootings as studio execs fear the tragedies will eclipse the ultra-dark satire.
Universal Pictures, which picked up the controversy-guaranteed script for “The Hunt” after other studios recoiled in horror, is re-evaluating an advertising blitz planned for the month leading up to the film’s September 27 release after a trio of mass shootings in Texas, Ohio, and California left 36 dead in the space of a week. The studio has already pulled some TV and internet ads out of concern “for content and placement,” according to one high-level source who spoke to the Hollywood Reporter, though another said the matter has not yet been decided.
TV station ESPN has yanked the trailer without waiting for Universal to make up its mind, opting not to air the clip at all in the next few weeks, according to a source at the station. While one Universal insider claimed the studio was standing by producer Jason Blum, who has reliably turned out successful films including the “Purge” series and “Get Out,” they characterized the situation as “fluid” and warned things could change “if people think we’re being exploitative rather than opinionated.”
Like Blum’s other hits, the film – originally called “Red State vs. Blue State” – features dark satirical undertones beneath all the violence, depicting a handful of “deplorables" who gradually realize they’ve been kidnapped and deposited into a high-end “private hunting experience” for wealthy liberals.
“We pay for everything, so this country belongs to us,” one of the “hunters” says in a trailer still available online; they reportedly pick their “prey” based on social-justice sins like using racist language on social media.Also on rt.com How NOT to respond to shootings: Calls for political violence follow El Paso & Dayton
While one filmmaker questioned whether “The Hunt” was not “the most craven, irresponsible, dangerous exploitation” in the wake of the recent tragedies, a Universal executive doubled down on the film’s value as biting social commentary, explaining it is “meant to show what a stupid, crazy world we live in.”
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